Author Topic: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)  (Read 34016 times)

greenvie

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #150 on: November 03, 2012, 08:12:48 PM »
Lagatta, that is one beauty of a bike!  I wonder if the price is as high when it's sold in the Netherlands. It's baffling that Canadian companies aren't producing well-designed urban bikes with our winters in mind. Or have I missed something?  I rode for many years from Atwater as far as St. Denis, and then most recently all around NDG with hefty grocery loads. I've had to give it up, just can't deal with hot summer riding and increased auto traffic.

There's a show on PBS called This Old House that did a story this week on a shop in Cambridge, Mass. where they reclaim vintage bikes for urban cyclists at an affordable price. They have many of the same useful features as the Dutch bike, but not quite as aesthetically elegant.

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #151 on: November 03, 2012, 09:13:06 PM »
Well, my own bicycle is an old Raleigh Sprite mixte, also black, 6-speeds, with a specially adapted "super-low" speed I had put in (also known as a granny gear) for people who are a bit arthritic as I am to climb hils "en moulinant" (by pedalling fast as if one were operating an old-fashioned manual sewing machine, rather than by pressure on one's joints). So she is fairly cute and very classic as well, though I would like to have a better chainguard.

That Batavus bicycle is a bit cheaper in the Netherlands (shipping, mass availability) but it is not a low-end bike. Those last forever, and many households don't need a car, so people are prepared to invest more. What is pricier is bakfiets - cargo bicycles with a carrier for children, goods or pets - but those eliminate the need for a car (or at least one of the two cars a household might otherwise have) and there are probably subsidies available. Dutch and Danish bakfiets can be bought here at Dumoulin on Jean-Talon opposite the Jean-Talon Market. James Schwartz in the article I posted on cycling to Pearson airport is riding a bakfiets.

I'd sooner die than quit cycling. Yes, there are a lot of problems in NDG with very inadequate cycling path and that ghastly interchange near Decarie. Heat doesn't bother me much (I'm always cold) but the uptake in car and truck traffic certainly does.

The (Projet Montréal, pro cycling) district administration is building a bicycle path on my street (Saint-Dominique) from the viaduct between Mile-End and Petite-Italie to Villeray (Jean-Talon) where the path already exists. However, to do so, for the moment they have made my street one-way south. Hence, if I wish to obey the law, I have to either go one block west to Saint-Laurent with all the bloody trucks and the speed demons, or a couple of blocks east to rue de Gaspé, a narrow, potholed street. The bicycle path will only be built in the spring, and I cycle until there is snow on the ground. It is not only a matter of running errands without taking half the day walking but also of getting enough exercise. I can't run, or walk fast enough for it to be "aerobic" exercise, though of course it is always better than doing nothing.

A younger comrade said he had no problem taking St-Dominique north, flouting the new signalisation, but I'm afraid that cars will wilfully not see us thus, and in any case, by tomorrow we'll be cycling in the dark at 4pm. Yes, of course I have lights, but that is a worry.

Now we are fighting some of those fuckwit merchants who are screaming bloody murder, although not a single parking place has been eliminated because of the lane changes (a couple may have been eliminated because of "saillies de trottoir", you know, those wide sidewalks at corners, often adorned with plants, to make the road narrower and facilitate pedestrian crossings). In Toronto, they raised hell about the St. Clare streetcar, although now it is a major attraction for shoppers and tourists.

As for bicycles with our winters in mind, there are also equal quality bicycles from Denmark and Sweden, but dedicated paths that are cleaned in winter are an even more important factor.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Boom Boom

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #152 on: November 04, 2012, 07:22:09 AM »
One advantage that new bikes have over older models: they're lighter. I have a new GIANT 18-speed mountain bike - actually brought it two years ago, but haven't used it much - too many construction vehicles here and we have very rough gravel roads. Plus I'm having issues with arthritis in both hands, and elsewhere.

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #153 on: November 04, 2012, 09:12:31 AM »
That is true, but some of the new frames are very fragile and hard to repair. Actually my Sprite is surprisingly light for a bicycle of its age; I also changed the wheels when they got crooked or worn out, for much lighter alloy wheels - that made a great difference. The mudguards are light plastic ones too - someone gave me another Raleigh with the original metal mudguards, and they add a lot of weight - rust, too.

On rough gravel roads you probably need a mountain or at least hybrid bike - I hate riding mountain bikes, but they are certainly better for such circumstances. And I doubt you are as concerned about keeping (office) work clothes clean and free of mud splatters!
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Boom Boom

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #154 on: November 04, 2012, 02:57:44 PM »
My older brothers in the 1950s and 1960s had Raleigh racing bikes, while I was stuck with a CCM three-speed - the old kind, with the gears inside the rear wheel, I forget what they're called. The Raleighs were quite lightweight way back then.

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #155 on: November 04, 2012, 05:13:43 PM »
Three-speed bicycles typically have internal hub gears, as contrasted with the dérailleurs common on bicycles of five speeds or more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-speed_bicycle However, internal hub gears have come back into vogue for certain purposes, in particular sturdy, low-maintenance city bikes, often with far more speeds and better gear ratios than the old models. Bixi and other cycle share scheme bikes typically have such gears (Bixi has three speeds - some would like to see Bixis with seven, as there are some hills here - some hilly cities use seven-speed models). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub_gear

The Batavus Breukelen has 7-speed hub gears; they are common in modern "old-fashioned" urban cycles in northern Europe.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

sparqui

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #156 on: November 04, 2012, 07:39:53 PM »
Mr. sparqui has a Raleigh Sprite (3 speed) and he loves it. I don't know why it took us so long to take up biking. He gave me a Raleigh Eclipse folding bike (7 speed) for xmas. I'm such a clutz that I insisted on getting a helmet (they only made it mandatory for kids this past year). I love my 60s flower power helmet.

I am such a nervous driver when it comes to navigating roads with cars/trucks on them but I have to regain my confidence and use my pretty bike more often.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #157 on: November 04, 2012, 08:30:25 PM »
I haven't seen the Raleigh Eclipse anywhere here, new or used. It looks nice, and not too expensive, but I'm looking at British and European sites.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

sparqui

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #158 on: November 05, 2012, 01:20:10 AM »
Being a short person, the design is really perfect. But there is a bit of wobbliness with putting it together from the fold up position that I have to figure out.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #159 on: November 05, 2012, 05:28:22 AM »
Where did you buy it? I've never seen it in the shops here. I'd love one of those for travelling (I mean taking with me on travels, obviously not for touring). I'm short too, especially short-legged. It looks like a more modern (and lighter) version of the old, and legendary Raleigh Twenty. Important to figure out how to stabilize it; ask a bike mechanic if need be.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

sparqui

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #160 on: November 05, 2012, 11:05:08 AM »
This fab family run business is where we got our bikes, lagatta:

http://www.goochs.ca/Home.page

Should you get one for air travel, make sure you invest in specific bike carrying luggage.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #161 on: November 16, 2012, 01:52:06 PM »
A sit-in on Jarvis has delayed the Fordist vandalism of the bicycle lanes: 


http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1286517--jarvis-st-bike-lane-removal-met-by-protest



A lot of Fordist pigs have weighed in - I suppose that is typical of those who comment at mainstream media sites. Up to you if any of you wish to have your say... 


Those shitheads make me want to spit. 
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Boom Boom

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #162 on: April 30, 2013, 02:59:43 PM »
Top 20 bike cities  :bike - no English-speaking cities in the top 20, I wonder why not?  :confused
 
I think Montreal is considered French:
 
"...Once again, Montreal maintains its position as North America’s premiere bicycle city."   I thought Ottawa was good too, but maybe it's changed since I lived there.


 
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 04:38:01 PM by Boom Boom »

lagatta

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #163 on: April 30, 2013, 06:16:01 PM »
Alas English-speaking countries have a hardcore of bicycle-haters (in particular in the US, UK and Australia). But Boom Boom, you've forgot Dublin! Obviously the Irish would never see themselves as English, and Irish Gaelic is the other official language, but alas is not much spoken anymore.

I think the progress made has a lot to do with it: I'd say cycling is far easier in Strasbourg than in Rio, but Rio is such a huge city that the progress it makes has a huge impact.

I'd still put Paris ahead of Montréal - it has made far more progress. It was a very scary place to cycle a few decades ago, and now there is an impressive network of cycle paths and bus reserve lanes, as well as the new tramlines. One never would have predicted it in the 1970s or even 1980s.

Our progress is crippled by our infrastructure problems and the effects of corruption. They may not get the much-needed improvements to the dangerous (for pedestrians, cyclists or even motorists) railway viaduct underpass on St-Laurent between Mile-End and Little Italy, in districts where a huge number of people cycle.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Boom Boom

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Re: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #164 on: April 30, 2013, 07:11:14 PM »
I've been to England and Wales and both have their areas where cycling is both possible and fun - but I don't know if there's any government-funded cycling infrastructure in either country.

 

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